A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Tide Race kayaks

August 23, 2009
Emilie Phillips

The day from this past week most worthy of its own post was Tuesday’s demo of the Tide Race kayaks. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t post sooner when I had a crisper recollection of their performance.

We had intended to leave work quite early so that we would have a bunch of time for the demo. Unfortunately, the guys driving the up from NY city hit a traffic jam and ended up multiple hours late. This ment less time to try the boats, but also ment we did not need to leave work so early (yay for cell phone updates). As it was, we still got there an hour before the boats. So people just kind of putzed around. Tyson and I had brought our solo boats thinking that we might have had time to go surfing, but because of the delayed boats that didn’t happen. Instead I tried to improve my roll since it had not been great the previous weekend. Well, in about 15 minutes I had managed to completely unlearn how to roll. I was about ready to sell my boat on the spot. I have had similar issues with it before where it seems to provide negative feedback on my roll.

Then the demo boats arrived. I tried two of them, the Excite S, Excite, and the Explore S. S means low volume. These boats were designed for surfing and traveling along the British coast. The Excite more focused on surfing and the Explore on traveling. Overall the boats seemed «fine,» but I had a few issues evaluating them. First I was still P.O.’ed about my inability to roll when Tyson was doing fancy greenland rolls in the boats. Second it was on dead flat water with only a little bit of wind. Third I didn’t have anyone to pace off against to tell how fast I was going.

On fit and ergonomics, they all had a very nice seat. The Excite cockpit seemed obscenely large, so I limited further trials to the low volume variants. And they all had a nice assortment of hatches and bungees. They were all very stable. The Excite did seem to turn a little better than the Explore, and of course the Explore tracked better. But I don’t know how they would actually work in real water.

After most people had a chance to try the boats, Tyson took pity on me and helped me a little with rolling in the Excite S. Without much effort I was doing a balance brace, and then a butterfly roll, and then my standard roll, and it all worked quite nicely. So then I was further convinced that I didn’t want to see my current boat any more.

After that we tried a few other people’s boats. The only one I remember was the Avocet, and it seemed a little pudgy and slow.

Then we had dinner and headed home.
It sounds like we could try the boats out in surf if we were interested and traveled to NY city, but I don’t think we are that interested.